Standoff at hotel ends peacefully | Shanghai Daily

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Standoff at hotel ends peacefully

ARMED police dispersed crowds without clashes yesterday morning in Hubei Province, ending three days of unrest triggered by the suspicious death of a chef at a hotel.

Armed police marched to the Yonglong Hotel in Shishou City at 3am yesterday and began to peacefully clear the area at 5am. Since Friday, many people had gathered at the hotel because of the death of 24-year-old Tu Yuangao.

A young mother was seen trying to persuade her little son to go home to sleep, but the boy replied: "No! I want to wait to see the police."

The crowds quickly left the site and the armed forces, wearing helmets and holding shields and plastic batons, withdrew at about 7am.

Police are still guarding sections of the roads between the hotel and the city.

Loudspeakers were reading appeals from the municipal government to maintain social stability.

The body of the hotel chef was taken to a funeral parlour yesterday morning after Tu's family agreed on Saturday to have an autopsy conducted.

Tu's body was found lying at the gate of the hotel on Wednesday evening.

Police found no life-threatening injuries on his body. A note left by the chef indicated depression.

An initial investigation found that the chef had killed himself, which sparked doubt and anger among Tu's family, which then spread to the public.

About 1,000 people gathered around the hotel since Friday. Some had blocked roads, set fire to the hotel, smashed windows and stopped police from moving the body. A fire engine and two police vehicles were damaged.

There were no reports of injuries during the unrest.

Some locals believed the chef was killed by gangsters while others said he was killed by the boss of the hotel, who is related to the city mayor.

Government officials refused to comment, saying they were still investigating the cause of death.

A man surnamed Zhang in his 50s said "the Yonglong hotel is a den for drug-addicts." He showed reporters used syringes in the rubbish at the back of the hotel.

A 16-year-old girl died in the hotel a few years ago. The death was ruled a suicide by police, locals said.



 

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